Binge drinking, or excessive alcohol consumption are the most serious drinking behaviors that are obviously linked to both short term and long term serious, potentially fatal alcohol-related health problems. The frequency of this extreme alcohol abuse is so prevalent that public health officials are now working toward discovering the reality of these behaviors, which could play an important role in estimating the risk of that all U.S. citizens are at when it comes to alcohol consumption. Alarming evidence is showing that this trend is not just among adults, it is also common among underage drinkers as young as preteens.
What is Binge Drinking?
A simple way to define binge drinking is for how many drinks one consumes during a sitting. A sitting is considered a two hour period. If an average male consumes five or more standard size alcoholic drinks in the same consecutive two hours they are binging. If an average woman consumes four or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting she is considered to be binging. The two groups of people in the United States that most commonly binge drink are young adults in their first years of their twenties, and minors under the age of twenty-one who cannot legally consume alcohol. Nearly all alcoholic drinks that are consumed by underage drinkers are consumed in a binging session.
Not-so-coincidentally, those who binge drink have many serious alcohol-related health risks in common with underage drinkers. Common examples of these include alcohol poisoning, changes or delays in brain development, changes to brain function, dangerous sex practices, exposure to sexual and physical abuse, risk of vehicular crash, increased risk of alcoholism or dependence, increased risk of STD’s, and a higher chance of partaking in abuse of other substances.
Facts About Heavy Drinking
An average male drinker who exceeds consumption of more than fourteen alcohol servings per week or more than four every day is considered a heavy drinker. An average female drinker is considered a heavy drinker if she consumes more than three servings in a day or more than seven in a week regularly. Those who drink heavily once-a-month, no matter which gender, are twenty percent more likely to increase their odds of eventually becoming diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder, while once-a-week heavy drinkers increase their risk by more than thirty percent, and those who partake in heavy drinking more than twice per week nearly double their chances. The fact is that approximately more than twenty percent of all excessive drinkers are diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorder.
How Many People in the United States Does This Effect?
According to current and relevant statistics, close to one-hundred fifty million American citizens who are considered preteens consume alcohol in the typical month; that makes over fifty percent of the total U.S. population over the age of twelve. Over sixty million U.S. citizens of all ages combined binge drink. while over sixteen million drink heavily.
Above all, alcohol consumption in any form is most common among adults eighteen or older. More than one-hundred thirty million of the nation’s alcohol consumers are of legal drinking age, while just under three million are minor drinkers. Almost sixty million adults binge drink in an average month, while about a million and a half of underage drinkers will binge drink in that same month. More than fifteen million adults in the United States will drink heavily in an average month, while the statistic is less than three-hundred thousand for underage drinkers.